NCAA

NCAA Tournament 2018: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama First Round, time, TV channel, how to watch

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NCAA Tournament 2018: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama First Round, time, TV channel, how to watch

Virginia Tech played their way to the 2018 NCAA Tournament with a strong ending to ACC conference play. It marks back-to-back NCAA bids for the Hokies for the first time in over 30 years. It will also be the second year the team in the 8-9 match-up.

Their hot shooting and playmaking ability carried them to monster wins over Virginia, Clemson, and Duke. That was enough for them to circumvent a relatively weak non-conference schedule. They were one of nine ACC teams to make the NCAA Tournament this year.

With six different players that can lead the team in scoring it is near impossible to halt the entire Hokie offense. As a team they shoot 49.8 percent from the field, tied for ninth best in the entire country. Unlike their rivals from Charlottesville they play up-tempo, multiple possession basketball and try to run up the scoreboard.

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Their opponent, Alabama also likes to play with a quick pace which could lead to a shootout in the First Round.

Last season the Hokies lost to No. 8 Wisconsin in the First Round of the tournament. The Badgers went on to defeat the No. 1 overall seed Villanova for a spot in the Sweet 16. Virginia Tech has not made it to the Sweet 16 in the modern 68-team NCAA Tournament.

Virginia Tech and Oklahoma will meet on Thursday in Pittsburgh, PA.

Here is the NCAA Tournament information:

RELATED: NCAA TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE

Virginia Tech vs. Alabama How to Watch

What: 2018 NCAA Tournament First Round, East Region

Who: No. 8 Virginia Tech (21-11, 10-8 ACC) vs. Alabama (19-15, 8-10 SEC)

When: 9:20 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 15.

Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA.

TV Channel: TNT

Online Stream:  March Madness Live on NCAA.com

TV Announcers: Kevin Harlan (Play-by-play), Reggie Miller (Analyst), Dan Bonner (Analyst), Dana Jacobson (Reporter)

Twitter: @HokiesMBB, @AlabamaMBB

RELATED: WIN COURTSIDE SEATS IN NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON’S BRACKET CHALLENGE

Virginia Tech vs. Alabama Bracket Analysis

How They Got Here: Virginia Tech (At-large), Alabama (At-large)

Previous Meeting: 1989. Virginia Tech 76, Alabama 75.

Next Round: Winner of No. 1 Villanova/ No. 16 Radford/ LIU Brooklyn

East Region Bracket:

No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 16 Radford/ LIU Brooklyn
No. 8 Virginia Tech vs. No. 9 Alabama

No. 5 West Virginia vs. No. 12 Murray State
No. 4 Wichita State vs. No. 13 Marshall

No. 6 Florida vs. No. 11 St. Bonaventure/ UCLA
No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 14 S.F. Austin

No. 7 Arkansas vs. No. 10 Butler
No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 15 Cal State Fullerton

Virginia Tech vs. Alabama Betting Spread, Lines & Odds

Favorites: Virginia Tech, -2
Over/Under: 141.5 (-110)
Money Line: Virginia Tech, -130; Alabama +110
Against The Spread: Virginia Tech is 17-11 ATS on the season. Alabama is 17-15-1 ATS.

Enter the NBC Sports Washington Bracket Challenge presented by ChasenBoscolo and compete against Tony Massenburg and Walt Williams for a chance to win big.

UVA's Tomas Woldenstae's game-winner stuns Tar Heels in Chapel Hill

UVA's Tomas Woldenstae's game-winner stuns Tar Heels in Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Tomas Woldetensae scored 18 points and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to lift Virginia past North Carolina 64-62 on Saturday night.

Mamadi Diakite added 15 points for the Cavaliers (17-7, 9-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won for the fifth time in six games.

Woldetensae's winning shot came after North Carolina's Christian Keeling made three free throws to give the Tar Heels a 62-61 lead with 10.3 seconds left. Keeling had been fouled by Woldetensae while attempting a 3-point shot.

Casey Morsell and Kihei Clark each scored 10 points for Virginia. The Cavaliers won back-to-back games against North Carolina in Chapel Hill for the first time in program history.

Garrison Brooks scored 20 points to lead North Carolina (10-15, 3-11), which lost its fifth consecutive game.

Cole Anthony added 17 points for the Tar Heels, but his half-court heave at the buzzer wasn't close. Keeling scored 11 points.

North Carolina lost despite shooting 50% from the floor against the Cavaliers, who entered the game with the nation's top scoring defense and field-goal percentage defense.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers have returned to their winning ways just in time. Virginia's NCAA Tournament chances were fading a month ago during a three-game losing streak, but the Cavaliers have gone 6-2 while grinding out five wins by five points or fewer since then.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels remained winless in February, starting off their second month in a row with five consecutive defeats. They are one loss away from clinching their first losing record for a regular season since 2001-02.

UP NEXT

Virginia: The Cavaliers host Boston College on Wednesday night, looking to avenge the Eagles' 60-53 win in the teams' first meeting on Jan. 7.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels play Monday night at Notre Dame, which they defeated 76-65 on Nov. 6 in each team's season opener.

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P.J. Horne's career night carries Virginia Tech past Pittsburgh

P.J. Horne's career night carries Virginia Tech past Pittsburgh

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- P.J. Horne scored a career-high 18 points to lift Virginia Tech to a 67-57 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Horne hit 6 of 9 from the floor, including a career-high four 3-pointers for the Hokies (15-10, 6-8 Atlantic Coast Conference), who snapped a five-game losing streak. Jalen Cone added 12 points and four 3-pointers for Virginia Tech, which hit 12 3-pointers in the game.

Au'Diese Toney and Justin Champignie scored 12 points each to lead the Panthers (15-11, 6-9), who lost for the fifth time in the past seven games.

Horne, who came into the game averaging 7.1 points per game, made 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions in the final 3:30 to help the Hokies hold off the Panthers. Virginia Tech led by as many as 19 in the second half before Pittsburgh cut the lead to 59-53 on a layup by Abdoul Karim Coulibaly with 3:21 remaining.

Horne, though, hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 3:06 to go to push the Tech lead to 62-53, and after another Coulibaly layup with 2:51 remaining, Horne connected again, hitting a 3-pointer from the same spot to give the Hokies a 65-55 lead. Pittsburgh got no closer.

Xavier Johnson finished with 11 points for Pittsburgh, which shot just 35% (21 of 60) in losing its fifth straight road game.

BIG PICTURE

Pittsburgh: Securing an NCAA Tournament berth is probably a bit much to ask of this young squad, but an NIT bid is certainly an attainable goal. However, the Panthers need to find a cure for their first-half woes, particularly on the road. Pittsburgh entered the game shooting 32.4% in the first half of its previous five road games (four losses) and continued the trend Saturday, shooting 26.9% in the first half in falling to the Hokies.

Virginia Tech: A week off certainly did wonders for the Hokies, who desperately needed a win after dropping five straight games. Like the Panthers, the Hokies probably aren't going to make the NCAA field unless they can make some noise in a brutal upcoming stretch. Tech plays Miami on Wednesday, then takes on Duke (road), Virginia (home) and Louisville (road).

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